Exercise and Nutrition during Pregnancy

Exercise and Nutrition during Pregnancy


It must be current APA format 7th edition
5 page which does not include the cover page and reference page
(2 must be peer-reviewed articles/journals);
Submits 6 nursing research articles relevant to the topic article summaries are clearly written, provide a comprehensive description of the research purpose, methods, and conclusions as well as relevance to nursing practice.
I also upload the Literature Review Rubric you can follow that.



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Literature Review

During pregnancy, proper nutrition is vital for the health of the growing baby and the mother. Physical exercises also play a significant role in getting rid of excess gestational weight. Pregnant mothers should undergo the recommended physical exercises and have the required nutrition to reduce complications that are associated with pregnancy. This paper focuses on reviewing various literature on exercise and nutrition during pregnancy.

Kennelly et al. (2018) conducted research to find out how smartphone application supports pregnancy exercise and nutrition. The study’s main objective was to establish the effect of a healthy lifestyle on the cases of gestational diabetes mellitus among obese and overweight women. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a kind of intolerance that can be identified during pregnancy. GDM is considered a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, excess gestational weight gain, and maternal adiposity. Pregnant women often find it a challenge to change their diet and physical activity behaviors necessary during pregnancy. According to the research conducted, both nutrition and exercise have contributed positively to reducing GDM.

The research utilized a randomized controlled trial. Pregnant women with a body mass index of 25 to 39.9 were enrolled in the study. The researchers used specific exercise and diet advice that aimed at addressing the behavior change among them. A designed smartphone application was tailored to support their behavior change. The other women in the controlled group were subjected to the usual care without any specific diet and exercise. The study results indicated that the incidence of GDM was not different in the two groups.

The researchers concluded that the mobile health-supported intervention did not affect the rates of GDM. However, the intervention contributed to some maternal benefits. The mobile health device replaced face-to-face consultation to bring about behavioral change among pregnant mothers. This study is relevant to nursing practice since it highlights the advantage of using mobile health-supported intervention to achieve maternal benefits.

The gestational weight gain experienced by pregnant mothers is often associated with long and short-term pregnancy complications. The recommended physical activities are beneficial, but adherence to the recommended activities has always been a challenge. Grenier et al. (2021) aimed to explore women’s physical activity and nutrition views. Also, the research intended to describe the barriers and facilitators of implementing the recommended physical exercise and nutrition during pregnancy.

The qualitative study used a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the possibility of achieving optimal gestational weight gain through nutrition intervention and physical activity introduced in the early stages of pregnancy, like normal prenatal care. Healthy pregnant women between 16 and 24 weeks’ gestation participated in the study. Through focus groups, the information from the two groups was collected. The participants responded to the open-ended questions. Their responses were audio-recorded. With the assistance of a non-clinical research assistant, the women’s behaviors and beliefs were placed into different categories for further assessment.

The research identified the following as barriers to participating in healthy habits by pregnant women; lack of enough knowledge to participate in physical exercise safely during pregnancy, outdated values and beliefs, and lack of sufficient counseling services from care providers. The research findings are relevant to the nursing practice in that it has identified the challenges that healthcare providers can address to offer better prenatal care services.

Nagpal et al. (2020) conducted research to scrutinize the adherence to the sequential introduction of exercise and nutrition behaviors during pregnancy compared to the simultaneous approach. The researchers used the randomized control method in their study. They placed participants into three groups. In the first group, they introduced nutrition and exercise simultaneously. The second group was subjected to nutrition first, while the third group was subjected to exercise first. While at twenty-five weeks’ gestation, the second behavior was subjected to both the second and the third groups.

The research findings showed that the third group, out of the three, had the highest devotion to the program. Notably, the third group experienced less weight gain than the second group. The research shows that introducing the exercise first followed by the nutrition program at twenty-five weeks’ gestation is effective. Such an approach improves the ability of pregnant mothers to adhere to various behavior change programs that leads to a positive health outcome. This research is relevant to the nursing practice as it suggests the most effective way of improving adherence to behavior change among pregnant mothers. The success in healthcare is influenced by the decisions and approaches used during the practice. A decision to adopt the successive introduction of exercise and nutrition among pregnant mothers can lead to positive results.

Evenson & Artal (2019) conducted a review of the physical activity guidelines available for pregnant women to facilitate advice by healthcare professionals. Physical activities during pregnancy have been proved to have fetal benefits and maternal benefits. The researchers conducted a descriptive review of one international and three national guidelines on physical activities during pregnancy.

The researchers point out that healthcare providers have a significant role in thoroughly evaluating pregnant women for medical or obstetric problems before recommending any physical activity recommendation. Pregnant women with medical conditions or disabilities should be given additional guidance to avoid further complications that unsuitable physical exercise may cause. Besides, every pregnant woman has the responsibility of consulting a healthcare provider who will closely monitor the progress of the pregnancy. The healthcare providers will also play a crucial role in advising whether or how to adjust the physical exercise during the gestation period. The study recommends moderate-intensity physical activity under the guidance of their healthcare provider for ostensibly healthy women. Both muscle and aerobic conditioning exercises are ideal for such women.

The study is relevant to the nursing practice in that the four summarized guidelines create a good foundation for further research. Moreover, it assists the healthcare providers with information regarding physical activities during pregnancy. The health care providers are responsible for addressing several critical barriers to communication with pregnant women about physical activities. The research, in conclusion, has identified barriers such as lack of sufficient knowledge and the belief that physical activities can cause damage. The analysis enables obstetricians, family physicians, and gynecologists to describe the most recent and suitable recommendations for physical exercise among pregnant women.

Regular and appropriate physical exercise during pregnancy enables pregnant mothers to control their maternal weight better. Barakat et al. (2019) conducted research to determine the effects of an exercise program throughout the gestation period on maternal weight gain and the occurrence of gestational diabetes. The researchers used a randomized control trial method. Their research included the standard care control group and the exercise intervention group. The exercise intervention used in the study was moderate aerobic exercise performed three days a week. Every session lasted 55 minutes, beginning from 8-10 to 38-39 gestation weeks.

The research findings showed that a higher number of women gained weight in the standard care control group than those in the exercise intervention group. Also, the number of women with gestational diabetes was high in the standard care group than in the exercise intervention group. The research findings show that exercise during pregnancy contributes positively towards reducing excessive gestational diabetes and excessive maternal weight gain. The research is relevant because it proves that exercise during pregnancy is essential, and it can be recommended for all pregnant mothers to avoid gestational diabetes and maternal weight gain.

Although obstetricians and gynecologists recommend twenty to thirty minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise for pregnant women, a higher number of them do not always adhere to the recommended amounts of exercise. Koleilat et al. (2021) explored the obstacles that make pregnant women not adhere to the recommended physical activities. The researchers followed the consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research in their study. They conducted four focus groups with four categories of women.

The study found two categories of barriers to physical activities; interpersonal and intrapersonal barriers. The intrapersonal barriers identified include pain and swelling, fatigue, safety concerns, medical restrictions, lack of exercise safety, and lack of enough time for physical exercise. The study identified interpersonal barriers, including differing advice from neighbors and friends, insufficient support from the partner and other family members, and lack of advice from the physicians regarding safe physical exercises. The study recommended that there should be interventions tailored to meet the needs of pregnant women. The research is relevant to the nursing practice since it highlights some of the challenges nurse practitioners can solve. For example, lack of professional advice on safe physical exercise was identified as one of the barriers. This is crucial information that can be used in designing programs to assist pregnant mothers in the required physical activities during their pregnancy period.




` Grenier L. N., Atkinson, S. A., Mottola, M. F., Wahoush, O., Thabane, L., Xie, F. & Murray‐Davis, B. (2021). Be Healthy in Pregnancy: Exploring factors that impact pregnant women’s nutrition and exercise behaviors. Maternal & child nutrition, 17(1), e13068. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/mcn.13068

Barakat, R., Refoyo, I., Coteron, J., & Franco, E. (2019). Exercise during pregnancy has a preventative effect on excessive maternal weight gain and gestational diabetes. A randomized controlled trial. Brazilian journal of physical therapy, 23(2), 148-155.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1413355518303514

Evenson, K. R., Mottola, M. F., & Artal, R. (2019). Review of recent physical activity guidelines during pregnancy to facilitate advice by health care providers. Obstetrical & gynecological survey, 74(8), 481-489.https://journals.lww.com/obgynsurvey/Abstract/2019/08000/Review_of_Recent_Physical_Activity_Guidelines.18.aspx

Kennelly, M. A., Ainscough, K., Lindsay, K. L., O’Sullivan, E., Gibney, E. R., McCarthy, M., … & McAuliffe, F. M. (2018). Pregnancy exercise and nutrition with smartphone application support: a randomized controlled trial. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 131(5), 818-826. https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2018/05000/Pregnancy_Exercise_and_Nutrition_With_Smartphone.10.aspx

Koleilat, M., Vargas, N., vanTwist, V., & Kodjebacheva, G. D. (2021). Perceived barriers to and suggested interventions for physical activity during pregnancy among participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Southern California. BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 21(1), 1-9.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12884-021-03553-7

Nagpal, T. S., Prapavessis, H., Campbell, C. G., de Vrijer, B., Bgeginski, R., Hosein, K., … & Mottola, M. F. (2020). Sequential introduction of exercise first followed by nutrition improves program adherence during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27(1), 108-118.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12529-019-09840-0